January, we meet again.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, we always spoke about the goals we wanted to accomplish in the new year. We would start the goal for a week and then somehow we would forget by the time February, sound familiar? As a therapist working with teens and college students, I now have the opportunity to help you all actually stick to the goals you set out for yourself. Here are my steps to getting them done:
Step 1: Set realistic goals for yourself
The new year excitement gets the best of us and we often set a zillion things we want to accomplish and feel pretty badly when it didn’t get done (at least I did). So, the first real step is to set goals that you know you have time to do, want to accomplish, and are willing to put effort towards them. I recommend starting with three strong goals, e.g. I will create new friendships.
Step 2: Create small steps towards your goals
Sometimes we have ideas of what we want to accomplish and then get stuck on how to put it into place. This step helps you to really break the goal down so it’s more doable for you. E.g. I will create new friendships by: 1. Speak to my classmate that sits next to me in science, 2. Text my friends who I’ve drifted apart from, 3. Ask my friends to introduce me to their friends who I don’t know yet
Step 3: List out motivators
This is an important step, don’t skip it! Listing out motivators helps you to remember WHY you are working towards these goals. That’s the big question. So why do you want to reach that goal? What this looks like: E.g. I want to create new friendships, because I want to become more socialize, find people who have similar interests to me, and gain more confidence.
Step 4: Find time to check progress
Just like in therapy, you gotta measure if you’re making progress towards your goals. This makes you accountable and motivates you to actually do what you set out to do. Maybe you set a reminder every week or month to see how you are doing. I would recommend to mark a day on your calendar as to when you are going to sit down with yourself to see how you’re doing.
Step 5: Treat Yo Self
For any parks & recs fans, this step is for you! You have to reward yourself for your progress and the effort you are taking for yourself. You aren’t doing this for anyone else besides you. Just how you set time to check your progress, make time to treat yourself. Maybe this looks like, hanging with friends, getting your favorite takeout, spending an extra 30 minutes on Netflix, however it looks like to you, that’s okay!
Step 6: Encourage yourself
Last final step, encourage yourself. Lift yourself, because no one is going to do it for you. You have it in you to accomplish your goals, have your ideas become real life, and feel happy with yourself. You have everything you need, right within you (just know that). This can look like post-its on your mirror, quotes in your planner, and words of encouragement on your alarms.
I hope that makes your goal-setting a little less scary.
The new year can be exciting, stressful, and all the feelings. Instead of feeling bad or overwhelmed that you aren’t accomplishing your goals, let’s put some realistic steps to getting to where you want to be. I am excited to hear and see what your progress looks like for you, if you want to do this process with me, please reach out to 512-522-2765.